How to redeem your Virgin Flying Club miles for hotel rooms

Just under two years ago, Virgin Flying Club teamed up with hotel booking site Kaligo.com to offer a new way of redeeming your Virgin miles.  You can now use them to pay for hotels globally offered by Kaligo.com.

You have been able to redeem Avios points for hotels for some time via this special ba.com page so it was good to see Virgin Flying Club catching up.  You will get around 0.57p per Avios point if you book via BA.

The Avios booking site is very clunky and has little information on the featured hotels, but Virgin’s effort is much better.  It is also worth noting that BA uses a different hotel provider to Virgin, so you should definitely look at both sites if you are thinking of using miles for a bed.

The Virgin Atlantic website has more details on this new scheme here.

The Kaligo.com home page to redeem your Virgin miles is here.

Virgin Atlantic 350

How does it work?

Kaligo.com has placed its 365,000 hotels into three categories:

‘Standard’ – 20,000 Virgin miles per night (3-4 star hotels)

‘Premium’ – 30,000 Virgin miles per night (4-5 star hotels)

‘Luxury’ – 40,000 Virgin miles per night (higher end 5-star hotels)

Booking is a little fiddly:

Step 1 is to check availability and pricing via the Kaligo.com / Virgin booking page

Step 2 is to telephone Flying Club and redeem your miles for a voucher code

Step 3 is to repeat the booking process, this time continuing to the end by inputting the code given to you by the call centre

Because Kaligo.com has grouped its hotels into just three pricing bands, it is difficult to put a firm value on the value you are getting.  It seems to move around between 0.4p and 0.7p per mile.

This is a better deal than the standard Virgin Atlantic ‘non-flight’ redemptions which work out at 0.4p (eg 12,500 miles for a £50 Virgin Voucher or Theatre Token).

Here are some random hotels I picked in London for Saturday 12th August.  The price comparison comes from Expedia.

Park Lane Mews Hotel – 40,000 miles – £305 – 0.76p per mile

H10 London Waterloo – 40,000 miles – £329 – 0.82p per mile

Hampton By Hilton London Croydon – 20,000 miles – £110 – 0.55p per mile

Ramada London Finchley – 20,000 miles – £106 – 0.53p per mile

Danubius Hotel Regents Park – 30,000 miles – £168 – 0.56p per mile

Hampton By Hilton London Waterloo – 30,000 miles – £175 – 0.58p per mile

I think the first two results above are outliers.  I doubt the Park Lane Mews routinely charges £305 for a standard single room (it doesn’t even sleep two people!) and the H10 certainly isn’t worth anything like £329 on a normal night.

In general, you are getting similar value to converting your Virgin miles to IHG Rewards Club points (at a 1:1 ratio) or to Hilton Honors (at a 2:3 ratio).  You get around 0.45p – 0.5p per mile via that route but you are restricted by what availability is offered for reward nights. Note that point transfers to IHG count for status, but Hilton transfers do not.

(One factor to consider is that you will not receive any status benefits on hotel stays booked via the Kaligo.com / Virgin portal.  You would receive status benefits on IHG Rewards Club and Hilton Honors redemptions.)

Conclusion

Whether this is a good deal is a personal decision.  You should get better value – as always – by using your miles for a flight.

It is certainly not worth converting Tesco Clubcard vouchers to Virgin, unless there is a generous transfer bonus, purely to redeem them this way.  1p of Clubcard points gets you 2.5 Virgin miles which would only get you 1p – 1.5p of hotel.

On the other hand, if you got your miles via a credit card sign-up bonus or from taking Virgin Atlantic flights, you may be happy to settle for a lower return.  Kaligo.com seems to offer better value than the other ‘non flight’ redemptions offered by Virgin Flying Club.

PS.  Don’t forget the excellent promotions which Kaligo.com is currently offer to EARN Avios points.

You will receive 5,000 Avios with £500 of cumulative spend or 10,000 Avios with £1,000 of cumulative spend before 11th July (your stays can be later).  Details are in this HFP article.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Bits: last call for Etihad credit card sign-up bonus, other deals ending Wednesday
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Comments

  1. thehornets says:

    O/T. Apologies if this is a stupid question… I have just reached Gold status with Virgin Atlantic. Does this allow me to use their lounge network whenever I like or do I need to actually travel with them (or a VS codeshare) to get into the lounges..?

    Ideally I would like to use my VS Gold for access to the Delta lounge at MCO whilst travelling on Lufthansa (747!)

    Many thanks!

  2. On the very rare occasions that I’ve used Avios to book a hotel room I’ve used avios.com to make the booking as there seemed to be more choice and on some occasions the BA site wouldn’t search for a city unless it was very large. This was a few years ago though so things may have changed.

  3. This isn’t a bad deal for those that shop at Waitrose but don’t want to fly Virgin. I’d be happy to switch Virgin points for Hilton seeing as Hilton points are starting to look more interesting.

  4. Natalia S says:

    Re Kaligo: I am not sure if it worked well for others, but I couldn’t book the hotel using the £50 Kaligo voucher from MBNA Etihad credit card signup. Kaligo provided the special link to use with the voucher code, but no availability shows up at this link (I could find only ONE hotel in one city at the super-inflated prices). If I try to book paying cash, without the £50 voucher, there are lots of hotels “to book and earn Etihad miles”. I find it quite dishonest, as the T&C said nothing of limited use for the voucher.

  5. Debbie says:

    Hi can anyone tell me how long virgin air miles usually take to convert into Hilton points please?

    • Debs – I got an ‘undelivered’ to the email I sent you!

      No idea personally, never done it. My previous IHG transfers took 7 days.